Building Momentum Through Innovation and Leadership
Since its formation in 1946, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) has existed to develop, integrate and sustain the ground vehicle technology solutions that give our warfighters a decisive edge. No matter where our Soldiers go or what they do, our mission remains the same.
As I step into the role of Interim Director, this mission — and our dedication to it — will not change. Our Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines continue to face emerging threats in diverse climates, and need their vehicles to perform a variety of tasks under extreme conditions. As the Army and the Nation pursue advancements in operational energy, fuel efficiency, mobility and survivability, TARDEC’s expertise in these areas will play an important role in collaborative efforts between the government, industry and academia. And our continued engagement with students through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs ensures that this commitment does not stop with us but will be vital in equipping and sustaining the Future Force.
My career at TARDEC has allowed me to work closely with our researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and observe their expertise, passion and commitment first hand. This is a team I’m proud to lead and work alongside as we continue to deliver the most advanced technology solutions to improve the Nation’s ground vehicle fleet. To be truly successful in our efforts, we need to be able to lead, innovate, integrate and deliver. We believe so strongly that these are the four key elements to our success that they have become our motto.
So, what do these four words mean?
We lead by example. Each day we prove ourselves as leaders by taking initiative, driving positive change, making good decisions and doing all that we can to support our warfighters. Driven by the need to improve energy security for our troops and the Nation, we are at the forefront of bringing together the best minds in emerging power and energy technologies, including alternative propulsion, advanced batteries and alternative fuels. We lead the way in advancing unmanned ground vehicle capability. Our Joint Center for Robotics technical directorate and the Joint Center for Robotics, collectively with the Robotic Systems Joint Project Office, comprise the Nation’s unmanned ground systems center of gravity and develop robotic systems that can perform tasks deemed too dull, dirty or dangerous for our Soldiers.
We lead by influence. TARDEC’s success is, in large part, based on the strength of its partnerships. We work with our partners across the Ground Systems Enterprise — the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command; Program Executive Offices and Project Managers; Research, Development and Engineering Command Technology Focus Teams; the Integrated Logistics Support Center; and U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command — and collaborate with our industry and academic partners to ensure that we are addressing the present and future needs of our ground combat forces.
For TARDEC, innovation is about creating opportunities where none previously existed. This means we cannot rest on our laurels. We must seek new approaches and consider different thought processes. We do this by fostering new relationships, developing dual-use capabilities with the automotive industry and finding new applications for integrating existing commercial products. Being the best means going above and beyond that which has been done before.
TARDEC is the lead for ground systems integration for the Department of Defense. As such, we take a holistic approach to ensure the sum is greater than its parts. Successfully integrating technologies into a finished product requires a systems-level approach. Research, development, testing and analysis are all necessary, and no single element can be worked in isolation. All require integrated knowledge, processes and the relationships that make this level of systems integration possible. Since TARDEC plays the key role of systems integrator in the Ground Systems Enterprise, we set the tone for the way people think about advanced ground vehicle technologies.
TARDEC’s role — its responsibility — is to deliver advanced, integrated technology solutions to the Soldiers who need them, quickly. Achieving this goal helps ensure our Army is the most lethal, sustainable and survivable fighting force in the world. Ultimately, this is the reason we strive for uncompromising standards of excellence in maintaining the Army’s technical superiority. Our Nation’s warfighters depend on us to provide overmatch capability to successfully complete their missions, worldwide.
We live by these four principles every day. They are part of an overall effort currently underway to transform our image, and position TARDEC as the national asset it is. Other elements of this transformation include launching this magazine and unveiling a new brand that is more reflective of TARDEC’s ongoing commitment to forward momentum and national energy initiatives. But, more importantly, we have a renewed commitment to our warfighters to lead, innovate, integrate and deliver the best ground combat vehicle systems in the world.
TARDEC Interim Director